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"With the utter simplicity of truth, and in understanding gentleness, [lemongrass] reminds us that we are who we are, and that all life's experiences make the whole," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. She says the emotional benefits of lemongrass essential oil are to encourage upliftment, calm, balance, and integration.
Plant family: Poaceae/Gramineae (a family of tropical grasses that also includes citronella, palmarosa, and vetiver)
Production: Steam distilled from from fresh or partly dried leaves of the lemongrass plant.
Aroma: Citrus/lemony, fresh, earthy
Perfume/Aromatic note: Top
Is lemongrass safe to use during pregnancy? None of my aromatherapy books gave a definitive answer. Some online sources say to avoid lemongrass while others suggest a small amount of highly diluted essential oil may be OK. Consult a professional.
Is lemongrass essential oil safe for children? Do not use on the skin of children under age 2, according to Essential Oil Safety.
Cautions: For a few people, lemongrass may cause skin irritation or sensitization. Test on a small patch of skin before using on larger areas. Do not use this essential oil on hypersensitive, diseased, or damaged skin. Generally not recommended for use in baths due to possible skin irritation/sensitization.
This essential oil is available in two varieties: West Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus DC) and East Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus Nees ex Steud). Their properties are similar.
Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed.
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Lemongrass eases pain from indigestion, muscle cramps, rheumatism, nerve conditions, and headaches. The essential oil helps relieve oily hair, acne, skin infections, stress, and nervous exhaustion.
Aromatherapy for Dummies: Lemongrass repels insects and discourages the growth of fungus.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Uses for lemongrass essential oil include relieving muscle aches and pains, gastrointestinal disorders, indigestion, cellulite, fever, physical and mental exhaustion, acne, pimples, and insect bites. The oil is also an insect repellent.
The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Uses of lemongrass essential oil include helping relieve acne, athlete's foot, scabies, excessive perspiration, flatulence, muscle aches, indigestion, nervous exhaustion, and stress-related conditions. The oil is also an insect repellent.
Aromatherapy Bible: Lemongrass is cooling, refreshing, stimulating, energizing, and uplifting. The oil deodorizes and is also an insect repellent. This essential oil tightens and tones skin and connective tissue — use the oil in massage blends and compresses for strains, sprains, and sports injuries.
Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume I: Psychologically, lemongrass promotes emotional renewal, discernment, insight, foresight, alertness, and optimism. Physically, the essential oil cools and calms hypertonic/tense and hot/excessively strong conditions. It also decongests congestive/damp conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the essential function of lemongrass is to regulate the Qi, clear heat, and harmonize the Shen.
The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing: Spiritually, use lemongrass to clear your mind and space before contemplation, meditation, or prayer. The essential oil also promotes mental clarity, joy, and enthusiasm. Emotionally, use the oil to improve feelings of belonging and working well with other people.
Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Lemongrass clears and cleanses. It also calms while uplifting. The oil is especially useful for the sixth chakra to promote mental clarity and flexibility and support intuition.
Aromatica suggests the following blends with lemongrass essential oil:
To make a deodorizing room spray: Add 30+ drops of lemongrass and 30+ drops of bergamot essential oil to a 2-ounce dark-colored glass misting bottle of distilled or purified water. Shake well and spray into the air as desired.
Store covered. To use, place a small handful of the scrub on an abrasive sponge and clean the grout. Wear gloves to avoid irritating your hands.
Source: Essential Living
Mosquito Repellent Spray
Source: Annette Davis et al. "Natural Bug Repellent And Bug Bite Relief Blends." NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Summer 2013, p. 59.
Homemade Bug Spray
Adapted from Essential Oil DIY Recipes by Dr. Axe
Here are two body oil blends from aromatherapist Suzanne Banks:
Lemongrass essential oil may help get rid of dandruff. You can add 10 drops to an 8-ounce bottle of shampoo or conditioner. To make a hair conditioning oil, blend 3 drops lemongrass into one tablespoon jojoba oil. Massage the blend into your hair, wait 10 to 20 minutes, and then shampoo as usual.
Photo Credit: Mokkie [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons